The Rope Climb

By Laurie Galassi

Video Article

When it comes to rope climbs, gymnast and CrossFit Santa Cruz coach Laurie Galassi teaches two ways to wrap the feet.

The first climbing method involves wrapping one leg all the way around the rope and then stepping the other foot on top of both rope and foot.

“The higher you have your foot and the further away from you, the better,” Galassi notes, encouraging hip and knee flexion as her athlete practices wrapping and clamping.

The second method involves placing the outside of the “bottom foot” next to the rope and then wrapping the other foot around the rope to clamp it to the top of the bottom foot.

“This way, that rope will eventually run right up the front of your body and make you super balanced,” Galassi says.

She adds: “You’ve gotta pick your knee up … and then wrap. So you’re in this little ball, then you have somewhere to open from.”

When done properly, the rope climb involves a strong contribution from the legs, and those with good technique will often find grip strength challenged before anything else. Legless rope climbs are another story altogether.

Video by Hollis Molloy.

5min 54sec

HD file size: 129 MB
SD wmv file size: 71 MB
SD mov file size: 83 MB

Please note: For smoother viewing of HD videos, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Macroclimbing by Greg Glassman, published Feb. 1, 2004.

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7 Comments on “The Rope Climb”


wrote …

Another great video by Laurie! She just has a way of bringing another insight to a movement. Keep them coming with her!



wrote …

As usual, great instruction by Laurie. Rope climb is one of my favorites. When I learned how to, properly, it became a great Core
Workout with less emphasis on arms. And lots of fun. Thanks Laurie, I'll get my wife to watch this and she'll be showing me up in no time.


wrote …

Laurie Galassi's coaching really resonates with me. Thanks for the great videos!


wrote …

Good Morning Ms. Galassi,
This is a semi-rhetorical question, and semi-serious: Does it feel as good as it looks to be so, good at something (in your case, training/teaching)?
Thanks (again) to you and CFHQ for teaching me something.


wrote …

Great video and coaching tips !


wrote …

I really like the training progression in this video (rubber band, rope on pullup bar, etc.) It looks like an effective way to let people practice without having to worry about falling off of the rope.

Personally, neither of those foot wraps work for me. I weigh about 280, which means that the second one simply doesn't hold me, no matter how hard I bite down on the rope. The first one will hold me, but I quickly exhaust my grip because it takes longer (in my experience) to move my feet up the rope.

I can climb the rope, though. I just use an alternate wrap that's faster than method one and more secure than method two. It's a good middle ground between the two. Unfortunately, describing how to do it in text is probably not a possibility. My point, though, is that there are plenty of different techniques that work for different people, so if you try everything in this video and still can't get up the rope, don't get discouraged. You just haven't found your technique yet.


wrote …

That's awesome! Great tips and great progression. Will use this as soon as next week!

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